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Senior Night affair ends in scoreless tie

Cushing ties career shutouts record

October 20, 2011 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – On the coldest night of the year thus far, neither team could find the back of the net as Middle Tennessee and South Alabama battled to a 0-0 draw in Sun Belt soccer action Thursday night at Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The Blue Raiders recognized their six seniors after the final home regular-season match as part of Senior Night festivities.

Middle Tennessee (9-7-1, 6-2-1 SBC) had the majority of the chances, outshooting the Lady Jags 19-7 on the night, including 16-6 in regulation. MT also held a 16-to-3 edge on corner kicks.

Senior goalkeeper Rebecca Cushing stopped four of the South Alabama (11-3-3, 4-2-2 SBC) attempts to record her 17th career shutout, tying Jennifer Robb (1997-2000) for the all-time school record.

Cushing’s four saves were nearly one-half of the seven credited to South Alabama’s netminder Melissa Drish, who kept the Blue Raiders off the board with a pair of diving as she stood tall behind her defensive back line.

MT had perhaps its best chance to score with 15 minutes remaining in the first half. Redshirt junior Regina Thomas ripped a shot from 30 yards out off the crossbar. The attempt ricocheted to the feet of teammate Whitney Jorgenson, who fired her shot right back towards the cage. Unfortunately, Drish was ready and collected the second attempt in less than a five-second span.

The high-power Lady Jag offense, led by the Sun Belt’s leader in shots, Brandi Smith, was held in-check by the Blue Raider defensive unit. Smith finished with just two shots on the night, including one on goal, to tie Landi Wilson for team-high honors.

Shawn Meach provided USA with its best opportunity at a score with just over seven minutes remaining in regulation. She sent a long, high ball towards the net. Cushing charged forward to grab it, only to have to pick it up near her feet to prevent a goal-scoring chance.

Junior Paige Goeglein paced the Blue Raiders with three shots, while five players each notched two attempts at the South Alabama frame.

A pair of road matches will conclude Middle Tennessee’s regular season, starting at 1 p.m. Sunday in Troy, Ala., against Troy. The Blue Raiders will finish the campaign next Friday, Oct. 28, in Bowling Green, Ky., at Western Kentucky before returning home to play host to the Sun Belt Championships, Nov. 2-5.

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